30 Leyburn – Marrick

Leyburn to Marrick 11.3 miles (18.1Km.)

Leyburn - The Shawl

Leyburn - The Shawl

Starting another block in mid May 2011 and more fine weather, not hot, not sunny but not wet, that’s the priority. Leaving Leyburn along the Shawl a popular path for a stroll, exercise for the children or dog but this soon fades away leaving only the occasional group of dedicated ramblers and even these neglect the later route used by the Great English Walk.

Wensleydale

Wensleydale

Having completed over four hundred of the six hundred miles I’m starting to think occasionally that this bit is a bit like that bit back at so and so. Leyburn Shawl is similar to the departure from Heptonstall and at both locations, much as I like trees, I wanted a bit of clearing done to open up the views. Many of the old benches along the Shawl had presumably been located to admire a view into the valley but all that can be seen now is trees so I took full advantage of any open views in case each was the last.

Redmire Quarry - one way only along this path

Redmire Quarry - one way only along this path

The many features of past industrial activity marked on the map have almost been lost back into the natural landscape but an old flue attracts my attention, however this would be surpassed later in the day. After Preston under Scar other path users vanish and I pause in a spot sheltered from the wind to eat a late breakfast/early lunch, it was an early start to in arrive in Leyburn at 9am.

Cobscar Mill on Redmire Moor

Cobscar Mill on Redmire Moor

The quarry at Redmire has been extended but a causeway has been left to carry the footpath. My map shows that the path from Redmire was treated less favourably with a breach across the active quarry floor. I spotted the old chimney, used as a way marker in the guide and made use of vehicle tracks across the scarred landscape this made walking fairly easy but needed care to avoid straying too far from the Definitive line.

Grinton Smelting Mill

Grinton Smelting Mill

I spent a fair bit of time exploring around Grinton Smelting Mill and the impressive flue, which surpassed the one seen earlier. Small compared with industrial sites of today but in its time and at this remote location it must have been impressive when in production.

Grinton Smelting Mill flue

Grinton Smelting Mill flue

As I drop down from the moor, Grinton and beyond on the hillside, Reeth look inviting with the offer of a lunch time pint. No way will Mr and Mrs Nightingale allow such pleasures. I’m dragged eastwards from Cogden Hall to the ‘sting in the tail’ at Marrick Abbey and today it’s a double sting.

Fording the Swale

Fording the Swale

The bridleway across the Swale has no bridge or stepping stones so fording is a necessity. There has been little rain for weeks, it should be a good time to cross but with a group using the adjacent activity centre I didn’t intend being their fun of the day if I stumbled and took a dip. I moved up stream for a spot out of view and  found a straight branch to make a walking stick. I was already dressed in shorts  so took off socks but kept boots. The fast flowing water was soon above my knees but some rocks above the surface aided my balance on the large slippery bounders on the river bed. A safe passage, empty boots, dry feet and replace socks, luckily not far to go.

Sting number two, a notice announcing a Public Inquiry to determine an order to extinguish the path I needed to use to continue into Marrick. The guide was vague here because careful inspection of the map reveals that the path passes inconveniently through the Abbey and farm buildings. I find a way around the obstruction without being stopped and meet the Coast to Coast path which is followed almost to Marske, my destination today.

Church & Chapel at Marrick, both now homes

Church & Chapel at Marrick, both now homes

The climb through Steps Wood is most pleasant along an old paved path, which could once have been steps but now the inclined slabs of stone offer a firm surface. Today, but perhaps not always, a dry route to Marrick.

Footnote: The order by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in December 2008 proposed to delete a section of Bridleway No. 28, in the parish of Marrick, from the definitive map. There were objectors to this proposal and the proposal went to a Public Inquiry on 1st March 2011 as advertised on site at the time of my visit in May 2011. Searching the web later I found the decision notice which showed that the Inspector concluded that the Order should not be confirmed. This however leaves the Highway Authority with the problem and establishing a unobstructed route around the buildings.

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Great English Walk map of section 30

Great English Walk map of section 30

 

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 30

Great English Walk hills and dales of section 30


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